What is the keto diet?
In recent years, the ketogenic diet has become one of the most buzzed about dieting trends in the country. You've probably even seen certain food and beverage brands make claims that their products are "keto-friendly" or "keto-sensitive.” But what exactly is the keto diet and why is it so effective?
What is keto?
Essentially, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that, when followed correctly, can help you lose and keep off unwanted weight. When carbohydrates are eliminated from your diet, fats and proteins start to become your primary source of calories. This begins to change how your body naturally transforms food into energy and kicks-off a process known as ketosis.
What is ketosis?
In a regularly-balanced, non-keto diet, the carbs we consume enter into our digestive systems and get broken down. The by-product of that process is glucose, aka our bodies main source of energy.
When carbs are completely restricted from our diet however, our body is forced to replace glucose with the next best resource for energy production - ketones. Ketones are molecules produced by the liver when stored fat is burned. During ketosis, our bodies use this burned fat as their new source of energy, which in turn leads to weight loss.
What can you vs. can't you eat on keto?
The keto diet comes with a very prescriptive rulebook on the foods you can and cannot eat. As we mentioned, entering into ketosis requires all carbohydrates to be completely removed from your diet. This means cutting out processed foods that are rich in sugar, like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, grain-fed protein powders and even most fruits.
Instead, followers of the keto diet rely on foods that are high in protein and fat. Meat, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, whey protein and low carb vegetables are all keto-approved.
What about coffee?
Most people are more-willing to cut carbs out of their diet than they are to get rid of their daily cup of coffee (us included). Luckily, coffee is acceptable on the keto-diet - as long as you don't add any sugar or cream. That even includes relatively healthy sweeteners such as agave, honey, coconut sugar and Splenda.
However, if you prefer your coffee on the sweeter side, natural ingredients like Stevia and monk fruit are totally acceptable to add to your cup of joe. (We recommend our Vanilla Latte Protein Coffee for any keto-er's who have a sweet tooth)
Should I try keto?
Impacting your body's internal processes is a serious decision. If you're seriously thinking about trying keto for yourself, you should consult with your doctor or primary physician first before making any changes to your diet.
If you and your doctor feel that keto is right for you, the benefits can be incredibly impactful. In addition to weight loss, a well-maintained keto diet can also lead to healthier cholesterol levels, blood pressure and cognitive function.